Angelina’s Easy Bread Kvas Recipe

Bread Kvas is uber popular in Russia and Ukraine. You might compare it to a sweet, non-alcoholic beer. Enjoy it cold on a hot summer day.

You’re gonna appreciate this; a simple, authentic bread kvas that doesn’t need a concentrate! My hubby’s cousin, Angelina, shared this recipe with us. We’ve made it with rye bread and with black bread and both were so refreshing! New favorite for sure – thanks Angelina!

This kvass lasts up to a week in the fridge (probably longer, but it might start tasting kinda strong). You’ll notice it loses sweetness daily as it stands. I think it’s best after a full day in the fridge.

Bread Kvas is uber popular in Russia and Ukraine. You might compare it to a sweet, non-alcoholic beer. From my research, kvass only has up to 1% alcohol content (still probably not recommended for pregos). The longer it sits in the fridge, the more slightly “alcoholic” it gets, but it’s still considered non-alcoholic.

So if you drink it in the first day or 2, there is probably no alcohol in there yet. From what my readers have said, it’s best to store kvas in plastic soda bottles since they are designed to hold pressurized drinks. I like to release the pressure from my bottles 1-2 times a day because an over-inflated bottle just makes me nervous.

Ingredients for Bread Kvas:

2.5 gallons or 10 qt of water
1 lb or 9 slices of classic black, dark or rye bread
1 handful of raisins
1.8 lb (4 cups) of sugar
1.5 Tbsp of active dry yeast
3 large plastic soda bottles

How to Make Russian Bread Kvas: (best if prepared in the evening)

DAY 1:

1. Fill giant stock pot with 2.5 gallons of water (or divide it into two large pots) and bring to a boil.

2. While waiting, toast the bread slices twice on the darkest toaster setting. Yes. Seriously. Darker bread makes darker kvass. Toast bread either outside or in your garage or your house will get smokey. We learned the hard way 🙂

3. When water starts to boil, remove the pot from heat. Add a handful of raisins and toasted bread to the pot, cover with the lid and let it stay overnight or at least 8 hours.

DAY 2:

4. Carefully remove toasted bread and discard it.

5. In a medium bowl, mix together 4 cups of sugar and 1.5 Tbsp of yeast, add them to kvas mixture and stir.

6. Cover with plastic wrap or lid and leave the mixture on the counter for another 6 hours, stirring every couple hours.

7. Discard floating raisins by scooping them up with a large spoon. Using strainer or cheese cloth, pour kvass into bottles, loosely cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. The following day once the bottles are completely chilled, you can tighten the lid.

P.S. According to my readers, it’s best to store kvas in plastic soda bottles since they are designed to hold pressurized drinks.

DAY 3: enjoy
DAY 4: enjoy
DAY 5: …..did it really last that long?

How do you make your kvass?

Angelina's Easy Bread Kvas Recipe

4.7 from 39 reviews
Prep time:
Total time:
Author:
Skill Level: Easy
Cost To Make: $4
Serving: 20-24

Ingredients

  • 2.5 gallons or 10 qt of water
  • 1 lb or 9 slices of classic black, dark or rye bread
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 1.8 lb (4 cups) of sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons of active dry yeast
  • 3 large plastic soda bottles

Instructions

DAY 1: (best if prepared in the evening)

  1. Fill giant stock pot with 2.5 gallons of water (or divide it into two large pots) and bring to a boil.
  2. While waiting, toast the bread slices twice on the darkest toaster setting. Darker bread makes darker kvass. Toast bread either outside or in your garage or your house will get smokey.
  3. When water starts to boil, remove the pot from heat. Add a handful of raisins and toasted bread to the pot, cover with the lid and let it stay overnight or at least 8 hours.

DAY 2:

  1. Carefully remove toasted bread and discard it.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together 4 cups of sugar and 1.5 Tbsp of yeast, add them to kvas mixture and stir.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap or lid and leave the mixture on the counter for another 6 hours, stirring every couple hours.
  4. Discard floating raisins by scooping them up with a large spoon. Using strainer or cheese cloth, pour kvass into bottles, loosely cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. The following day once the bottles are completely chilled, you can tighten the lid.

DAY 3: enjoy

Notes

P.S. According to my readers, it's best to store kvas in plastic soda bottles since they are designed to hold pressurized drinks.

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Mike
    June 12, 2017

    6 hours sounds like a very short time for the fermentation. I tasted it after 9 hours and it was still too sweet. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 12, 2017

      Hi Mike, it does get stronger in flavor and less sweet as it stands. Reply

  • No name
    May 27, 2017

    Letting kvass sit for longer is the only way to make it have higher alcohol percentage? Or are there more tricks to it? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 29, 2017

      I’m really not sure, as this is not intended to be an alcoholic drink. Reply

  • May 27, 2017

    Hi all,

    Have just followed the procedure.

    will update tomorrow the status of my kvass.

    Thanks. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 27, 2017

      My pleasure! Please do! Reply

  • AR
    May 14, 2017

    I made a batch 12/16. I kept the sediment and just used that today to make another batch. Hopefully it will work. The bottles were very tense and a lot of gas escaped when I opened them today and they fizzed like crazy. Not sure how long I should let it sit. Btw there was some kvass still there that I tasted and it was just less sweet. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 14, 2017

      Thank you for sharing that with us. As long as the bottles made to withstand the pressure, kvass should be fine. We loosely cover it with lid and refrigerate overnight after first pouring into bottles. The following day once the bottles are completely chilled, you can tighten the lid. Reply

      • AR
        May 16, 2017

        I didn’t get the fizz when I opened the bottles like before when I used dry yeast. The bottles r tense. Would it take longer to ferment from the previous sediment? Or add some yeast? Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 16, 2017

          I’m not sure what you mean – are you re-using the yeast from an older bottle? I’m not sure that would be effective anymore. I have always started a completely new batch when the first one ended. Reply

          • AR
            May 16, 2017

            Yes reusing. Somewhere I read doing that like with a sourdough starter for kvass..
            I’d love to know if anyone has done so.
            Maybe I can still add the yeast if I take it out of the fridge.

  • Aaron
    April 24, 2017

    Does it have to be black rye bread? Could I use marble rye for instance? Having a hard time finding the black rye in my local stores. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 25, 2017

      Hi Aaron, the darker the better to achieve more color and flavor but if marbled rye is the only thing you could find, I think it would work fine. I haven’t tested it with marbled but I’m assuming it would work. Reply

  • Hector the Red Squrriel
    April 18, 2017

    I’ve never had Kvass before, but this looks simple enough that I might want to try it.

    But 4 cups of white sugar in 2.5 gallon batch sounds like a lot. Based on the calculations, the added sugar alone would yield 7.4% abv beverage when completely done fermenting. I’m guessing it’s okay to cut the sugar a bit?

    Also, I’ve read elsewhere that Kivass tastes slightly tart/sour (due to Lactobacillus fermentation). Are they usually that way or is it optional? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 18, 2017

      Hi Hector, I think it would be ok to cut the sugar if you wanted it less sweet but the longer the kvas stands, the stronger it gets in flavor and the sweetness goes away. I wouldn’t say it tastes tart or sour, but it does get stronger in flavor as it ferments. Reply

  • Erin
    April 9, 2017

    This sounds terrific! 10 quarts though maybe way too much for my family, at least before we know we love the stuff! Is it possible to halve or third the recipe? Will it still turn out? Thank you! Reply

    • Erin
      April 9, 2017

      Oops! Just saw your reply to this from a while back! Thank you! 🙂 Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        April 9, 2017

        No problem! 🙂 Enjoy!! Reply

  • David
    April 6, 2017

    I failed :(. Kvas is flat. Seemed the yeast had no effect. Followed all steps as printed. Not sure what happened. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 6, 2017

      Hi David, Is it possible your yeast was old? It’s best to store yeast in an airtight, dark container in the refrigerator. Once a yeast packet is opened, if it sits on the shelf at room temp for too long, it won’t be as effective. Also, just to be sure – did you make sure to add the yeast mixture to the cooled/room temp mixture and not into hot liquid – overheating yeast will deactivate it. I hope that helps to troubleshoot what might have went wrong. Reply

      • David
        April 6, 2017

        Thank you… The yeast is dated Sept. 2018 and it was added after about 14-15 hours of room temp (maybe too cold in house? about 60…). I have never fermented anything (on purpose :). My nephew is skilled and practiced and is coaching me. We will figure something out. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          April 6, 2017

          It might possibly be the temperature of the room – our room temp is closer to 70˚F. Also, did you use active dry yeast and not instant yeast? Reply

          • David
            April 7, 2017

            Used active dry. Update! Last night I removed the kvas bottles from fridge, shook them and left them out over night. Lots of fix this morning! Good!

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            April 7, 2017

            Oh that’s so great to hear!! Thanks for reporting back. 🙂

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